15 May 2008

Leadership and more rules

Rules are an important part of the life of a human. Some rules are good to exist. For example the rule of gravity, without it we would be drifting around in a dark and empty universe, without stars and planets. But there are more rules we have devised ourselves and on which we act without thinking.
It are those self made rules, that are important when it comes to leadership. Because many of those rules oblivious used rules hinder a humane kind of leadership. Take for example the rule, that a leader should not mingle with his employees in a friendship like manner. The strange thing however is, that the leaders who act out of a kind of friendship achieve the best results and have the greatest successes. But still this rule of non friendship stays alive.

So it seems to be important to avoid taking rules as a basis for ones leadership, without thinking about their influence on you behavior as a leader. Because often there is enough evidence to proof that an exception to the rule works better. Specially when you want to create a humane kind of leadership, that also gives the successes that are expected.

13 May 2008

Leadership and rules

I think that the most important thing a leader can do is to forgive the people he leads the mistakes they make.

The importance of forgiveness lays in the fact, that it sends the message that rules are not there to punish. As a leader you want you people to follow the rules. You do not want them to be so afraid of the rules, that they start to avoid them.

To forgive someone the mistakes he makes, does not mean that you let it be. To forgive does not mean letting the mistake pass as if nothing happened. Forgiveness means giving the wrongdoer the chance to admit guilt, but then letting go of his guilt.

To forgive also means that you sit down with the person who made the mistake to help him understand what went wrong and what his part was. It also means helping the wrondoer to find a solution, to prevent the mistake from being made in the future.

And of course it is much easier to fire someone who makes a mistake. But then you will have one certainty. In the end you will have less and less people to fire and hire. And the persons who work for you, will be less willing to take risks. Because if there is one thing clear of the social systems in which humans live it is the following. In a surrounding in which there is little tolerance for mistakes, every new participant is taught that making mistakes is not tolerated and should be avoided. And the best way to avoid making mistakes is to do nothing. And the second best way is to do your work the way it has always been done, by eveyone before you.